MiVT: Canvasworks Designs

PERKINSVILLE, Vt. (WCAX) A Perkinsville woman is bringing back decorative artwork last popular during the 19th Century. Her Canvas Floorcloths are keeping everyone on their feet, and they are Made in Vermont.

If Lisa Mair can get her hands on it, she'll paint it. "If it's not stuck down," Mair said. Since 1992 she's been painting floorcloths. "I was looking for a craft that I could express my creative abilities and sell it as an item so, decorative piece."

The majority of Mair's floorcloths are for museums. "It's a way I can educate people about the history of how they used to make these and what they looked like. And the way I make them now, they last a little longer than the old ones used to," she said.

The floorcloths are made of a durable, raw canvas. Mair shrinks it, primes it, and sews the edges. It takes about six months to a year for one to be completed, depending on the size of the area and the amount of research she needs to do. "Every one of those teaches me something new. It's fascinating," she said.

For the last seven years, Mair has included painting wall murals as part of her company, Canvasworks Designs. "One of the my floorcloth customers had a wall and she's like, 'You do this on the floor, why can't you do this on the wall?' And I was like, ok," Mair said.

Currently, she's working on a two-wall mural for the Green Mountain Horse Association in South Woodstock. It's where Mair and her daughter ride. "It's actually been really hard to work on it because I wanna get it just right. Everybody has to be looking like they're having a really good time," Mair said.

Mair also loves fox hunting scenes. "This was like an 8' by 10" sketch. I take a picture of it and put it on my computer and then I can blow it up and print it out to a larger scale. And then I put it on top of that canvas and I put time carbon paper underneath it and I just outline the the image so that I can then go ahead and paint," she said.

It costs between $30 to $55 a square-foot. All of Mair's work is custom. Find Canvasworks Designs on the web or Facebook, and just let her know the space you want to have filled.

"I feel very lucky. I picked a good craft. There aren't that many people doing it," Mair said.

Whether along the wall or beneath your feet, Canvasworks designs are scenes to scale.